The Washington, DC Journalism Program offers graduate and undergraduate journalism students an exciting semester in the nation’s capital. Students function as working journalists, meeting newsmakers, working in the bureaus of national news organizations, and reporting on Congress and the federal government. Students take a core course in political reporting, and a second newsroom experience course. The political reporting course includes weekly guest lectures and special events, and brings students together with newsmakers, editors, bureau chiefs, and reporters.

  • Intended for advanced second-semester juniors, seniors, and graduate students in journalism who have already had a professional internship or other writing and reporting experience
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Students take a core course in political reporting, and a second newsroom experience course. The political reporting course includes weekly guest lectures and special events, and brings students together with newsmakers, editors, bureau chiefs, and reporters. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Course

Students take the following course:

  • COM JO 310 Beat Reporting (4 credits)
    • Students learn to cover a city neighborhood or a nearby community beat. Students will branch out across the city and suburbs to cover courts, crime, education, local and state politics, and other essentials of community reporting. Students will be encouraged to develop their own sources and story ideas with the goal of professional publication in the Boston University News Service. Students produce stories, photos, audio, and video for the Web.

Newsroom Experience

Print and photojournalism students work for the Boston University Washington News Service and serve as correspondents and photographers for New England newspapers including The Worcester Telegram, Patriot News, Times Argus, and the Bangor Daily News. Broadcast and radio student journalists work as correspondents for both local (DC/MD/VA) and New England/northeastern stations. They also have the option to intern at stations in the DC metro area. Through their reporting and work experience, students have the chance to earn clips and tapes and create a portfolio and résumé reel of national stories.

Students enroll in one newsroom course:

  • COM JO 490/954 Print Directed Study Newsroom (8 credits)
  • COM JO 491/954 Broadcast Directed Study Newsroom (8)

Advanced newsroom training in writing and reporting political and public affairs news for publication and broadcast. Students cover Congress and the federal government three days a week for the Boston University Washington News Service and its news media clients throughout New England. Students serve as the Washington correspondent for a particular news outlet and work closely with the editors there proposing story ideas, carrying out assignments, and filing on deadline. Students typically earn 20-30 bylined clips.


Elective Course

Students choose one course from the following:

  • CAS HI 281/CAS PO 201/CAS IR 356 American Governance: Foreign Affairs (4 credits)
    • Formerly CAS HI/PO/IR 356.
    • Overview of American presidencies of the late twentieth century, specifically considering how politics relates to foreign policy in America. Concepts including isolationism, manifest destiny, moralism, rule of law, national self-interest, and terrorism are discussed. Special focus on Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS HI 327/CAS PO 204 The Modern US Senate: From Collaboration to Confrontation
    • Examines the history of the US Senate with a special focus on increasing partisanship since WWII. Addresses major policy issues and landmark pieces of legislation as well as the lives and legacies of prominent individual Senators. Includes guest lecturers.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS IR 324E/CAS PO 280E American Policy-Making in the Global Era: International Trade, Finance, Innovation, and the Global Corporation
    • Course examines American international economic decision-making in a changing global economy and addresses current theories of International Political Economy with respect to trade, finance, and the development of global corporations. Explores how American policy shaped the post-World War II global economy.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS PO 203/COM CM 556 Strategies for Issue Development and Policy Change (4)
    • Formerly CAS PO 321/COM CM 556.
    • Focuses on the specialized forms of communication that political professionals use to win public support for their issues, candidates, and policy positions; and teaches concrete planning skills for those interested in influencing public policy using both inside and outside (or grassroots) strategies.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS PO 202 Introduction to Congressional Policy Making (4)
    • Formerly CAS PO 406.
    • The purpose of this course is for the student to gain a working knowledge of the US Congress, from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The course features assigned readings and lectures as well as guest speakers, current periodicals, and in-class discussions.
    • Syllabus
  • COM CM 409 Persuasion & Public Opinion (4)
    • The theories, strategy, and techniques of persuasion as a means of shaping public opinion and attitudes. How individuals, business, government, and institutions craft messages and communicate through the press, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations. Ascertaining and understanding the beliefs, attitudes, and values of groups and society.
  • COM JO 510 Government and the Press (4)
    • Advanced course in public affairs reporting. Through lectures, class discussion, and readings, students learn about the development of political reporting and also analyze contemporary public affairs reporting. Students gain experience through reporting assignments on Congress and federal agencies. For their final project students complete a magazine-length enterprise article on a public affairs issue.

The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101: The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.

Program Residence

  • Students live in suite-style apartments with shared kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas.
  • Two occupants per bedroom and up to 12 students per suite. Each suite has a shared kitchen stocked with cooking utensils.
  • Singles are available on a space-available basis for a supplemental fee.
  • The apartments are centrally located in the Woodley Park area of Washington, DC.  Just steps from the Washington, DC metro.  Although board isn’t included, there are many nearby grocery stores and restaurants.
  • The apartments have on-site laundry facilities.
  • Fall Semester: late August to mid-December
    • Spring Semester: mid-January to mid-May
    • Fall Semester: April 1
    • Spring Semester: November 1